Projects:  Energy Australia Learning Centre


Energy Australia Learning Centre

  • To showcase innovative solutions for tomorrows energy problems
  • To effectively reduce the running costs of the new Learning Centre
  • To reduce the impact on the environment of the new Learning Centre
  • To generate 70% of the electricity base load of the centre
  • To create “free” heating and cooling for the learning Centre
  • To become a research piece for the new trainees at Energy Australia

Project Scope

The new Energy Australia Learning Centre will be the country’s largest electrical learning centre and will be home to the next generation of front line energy workers. The Learning Centre will also become the headquarters of the electricity provider’s smart grid operations and energy efficiency centre.

Urban energy was engaged to design, project manage, supply and install an efficient alternative energy system to the facility. Our brief was to reduce the electricity usage, running costs for the centre, and to provide an efficient source of cooling and heating for the centre. The system installed is a high life expectancy parallel grid cogeneration system and waste heat cooling system. This Trigeneration system is operating as one of the many technological energy and water saving features of the new building. Also included in the building is a ground source heat pump cooling system and a large photovoltaic solar array.

System Design

The system utilises a sophisticated Cogeneration system and waste heat recovery Absorption chiller to efficiently generate a proportion of the electricity used by the centre and efficiently generate cooling. This system is designed to operate for 15 hours of the day over the peak and shoulder electricity tariff periods.
The system:

  1. Creates electricity for use within the facility
  2. Creates heat for use in the hot water generation
  3. Creates cooling for the centre

The cogeneration system is a 120kW cogeneration system with a daily electrical output of 1,800 kWh and a daily thermal output of 2,445 kWh. The chiller system is a 98kW absorption chiller with a daily thermal (cooling) output 1,470 kWh.

Both the hot water and chilled water are produced for “free” from the waste heat of the trigeneration plant.
Urban Energy’s trigeneration systems can reach efficiencies of 95% and achieve full synchronisation to the grid in around 45 seconds. Below is a simple energy schematic to graphically show how a Trigeneration system operates.

Project outcome, carbon dioxide and cost savings of system

Urban Energy successfully designed, installed and commissioned this system
The system has been operating successfully for over 4 months and has saved a significant quantity of greenhouse gasses for the offset electricity, heating and cooling costs of the facility.

By installing this efficient alternative energy electricity generation and waste heat hybrid system, Energy Australia has reduced the running costs of the centre and saved significant quantities of carbon dioxide, the main contributor to global warming.

This new Trigeneration system reduces the CO2 output of the Centre by an estimated 40% as well as reducing the running cost of the facility by 35%. The Estimated Saving of 527 Tonnes CO2 per year compared with a Purchasing electricity from the grid and buying Gas to generate heat. Introducing this system is equivalent to planting 2,635 Trees per year or to taking 117 cars off the road per year